California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican leader, was determined to make history on Thursday.
McCarthy took the House floor at 8:38 p.m. to oppose the Democrats’ “Build Back Better” Act, a $1.75 trillion package consisting of social and climate change programs. He stopped talking eight hours later, according to The New York Times.
- “Personally, I didn’t think I could go this long,” said McCarthy.
- When he finished at 5 a.m., he said, “With that, Madam Speaker, I yield back.”
- Per reports, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi had already left hours ago.
Traditionally, leaders from both parties are granted a minute to speak on the matter by the presiding officer but they may take longer, according to NPR, but McCarthy broke the record for the longest speech yet.
Pelosi’s office released a statement titled, “Is Kevin McCarthy OK?” which called McCarthy’s speech a “meandering rant that has nothing to do with the Build Back Better Act.”
McCarthy did delay the Thursday vote as he talked against President Biden’s agenda, among other things.
- He denounced inflation, per NPR.
- He also denounced the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.
- At some point, he spoke about a deli he opened when he was younger as well as his desire to buy a Tesla and not being able to afford one, according to the report.
Here are things people on Twitter heard him say:
"You know what Taiwan is," Kevin McCarthy asks, two hours and 23 minutes into this speech.— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) November 19, 2021
Kevin McCarthy: "Picture America in a swim meet after World War II against every other country"— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) November 19, 2021
Two hours into Kevin McCarthy’s unhinged diatribe obstructing passage of the Build Back Better Act, Albert Einstein comes to mind: “If people only talked about what they understood, Earth would be a very quiet place.”— Rep. Jamie Raskin (@RepRaskin) November 19, 2021
Handful of Republicans sitting behind McCarthy without masks: Clyde, Cawthorn, Miller-Meeks.— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) November 19, 2021
McCarthy, well into his second hour, is musing about what if Abraham Lincoln wasn’t assassinated.